Letter from John Orvis to Marianne Dwight Orvis
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- Virginia Faust
Waterloo Sept. 5 1847 My Dear, This paper again in spite of my promise not to use it again. It is capital paper to write upon. I am spending this Sunday in one of the most delightful Quaker families that I ev- er knew. There are four most beautiful daughters in the family. Their intelligence & refinements are equal to their beauty. They were formerly of Philadelphia & their names are M'Clintock. I first became acquainted with them about 4 years ago. I had well nigh lost my heart among them at that time, & they are exceedingly agreeable to me now. I wish you could become acquainted with them. You don't know how kind they are to me, & how much they love me. I dont know but they wish that I were not--- There is only one of them an Associationist. She is, I think the truest one, but not the most talented. They are de lightfully loveable folks, & I wish you knew how beautiful such an oasis is, to your poor desert-wanderer. The names of these beautiful sisters are Lizzy, Mary, Sarah & Julia. They only need the ministry of music, to call forth into expression, the deep calm beauty of their natures, & which occasionally betrays itself in the gentle glances of their large blue eyes. [page break] But dearest, from amidst all this sweet beauty my spirit [strikethrough] soul [/strikethrough] breaks away an unwilling prisoner, & flies to you. It compasses the wide distance between us regardless of breaking the Sabbath, by making so long a journey- & despite the threatnings a- gainst those who commit that sin, I wish I c'd be with you in the fulness of my being- person ally as well as spiritually- but be of good cheer I am on my way to you. My course is homeward though it wend but slowly. I shall come to ye in all this month. The opportunity for lectures west of Rochester was so inauspicious that we concluded, that but one of us ought to go so far as buffalo. Mr Allen will fill the appoint ments to the westward, & will likely go as far as Cincinnatti. The best field of labor in NY is eastward of Syracuse- I shall visit as many of the places mentioned in my last let ter to you, as I can between this and the [----] there is ample opportunity for lectures through out the whole of that region. Mr Allen is going to Cincinnatti to see what the prospects may be for our starting a paper, school &c there. We have concluded to do that, as the best thing possible for us & the Cause We must devote ourselves to Association & at the same time, secure to ourselves the means of support. We have not as yet [page break] made any definite plans in relation to it, but have the thing in contemplation & Mr Allen goes to see what encouragement there may be for us. We have had a very good offer in Utica, but we do not wish to be so near the Center in New York, as to interfere with the circulation of The Harbinger. We [underline] know [/underline] that we can publish a paper, that will be serviceable to the cause, & which we think will be both popular & profitable. We shall be alternately lecturing all the while, and at the same time corresponding with the papers & obtaining subscribers for it. Allen will al so see what encouragement there may be in Cincinnatti for the Associative School, which you & the Schetters talked about. We are deter mined now to place ourselves upon an indep endent basis, as to a living, so that it shall not depend upon the contingencies of any Society's treasury, whether or not we may labor in Association's behalf, to which service our lives are pledged. The result of his observa tions in Ohio must determine our course- I have seen Davis's book & read it somewhat What a production it is too. He is grand in his thought, profound in his philosophy, rational in his religion, Fourieristic in his cosmog ony & theory of Society, & calm dignified & [page break] liberal, whilst he is [irresitible?] in his criticism upon the existing social institutions. Whatever may be said of the conditions under which he is said to have dictated it, it cannot fail of doing immense good. I dont care what were the circumstances under which it was written , it must be judged of by its intrinsic merits & the philosophy which it unfolds must be tested by the Court of positive science. I have not as yet got any [underline] new [/underline] ideas from it. He seems to have stated in a very clean & happy manner those great principles which Fourier has un folded by mathematical formulas- & wch Swedenborg revealed in a mystical style & which were perverted somewhat, in passing through the medium of his early prejudices. But to this book must be accredited the honor of containing the profoundest system of phil osophy combined with the loftiest eloquence & sublimest poetry of any book which has appeared for ages, excepting always Fourier's. But you have doubtless seen it & heard a great deal said of its merits. What say The Harbinger editors of it. By the way I have not got but one number of that paper since leaving home & that was at Syracuse. It is curious, I think, & the one I asked John to send me, has not come to hand either But I got along without it. [page break] I lectured here last evening to a small au- dience, & am to speak again this evening- I have not much hope of affecting any- thing important here, but in as much as my expenses were paid from Rochester, I was glad to come here. I [----] expect to lecture at Seneca Falls 3 miles from here tomorrow eve- ning & till Wednesday evening, but if not I shall go directly to King's Ferry where I shall spend ten days or more. It is nearly time for meeting & I must close for the sake of a few moments of reflection before-hand. I am anxious to hear how you are. Your letter to Batavia I shall not get un til I reach King's Ferry where I told Allen to forward it. & that is not best to go to Ba Tavia although Mr B's father sent us a pass over the rail-road from Rochester to his place You will have sent me another letter to King's Ferry ere I get there. I am anxious to hear from mother from both mothers in deed. Give her my love & earnest gratitude for her kindness to you & also to all our fam ily. I am pretty well though tired beyond measure. No one can tell without trial the the exhausting & fatiguing labors of a lecturer It is [underline] everlasting [/underline] talk. O be loving quiet & thought ful & beautiful Ever your dearest John [page break] [address] Mrs John Orvis Brook Farm West Roxbury Mass
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